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Weaning

Anyone regret baby-led weaning?

62 replies

RosieLee2019 · 22/01/2022 19:05

We did BLW from the start, but now, at 14 months, DS is still making a huge mess at mealtimes, chucking food and cutlery on the floor, barely eating a lot of the time and constantly trying to climb out if his high chair.

I feel like giving him autonomy at meal times has massively backfired and descended into unwanted behaviour, while all my friends’ traditionally weaned babies seem to eat much better at meal times and make less mess.

Trouble is, we can’t go back now, and we’re just stuck with stressful chaotic meal times (which also makes eating out a nightmare).

Anyone else find this or have advice??

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Verybookish · 22/01/2022 19:06

I regret it for different reasons. I did it with my first one. The one’s after that I went the more traditional route!

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IDontDrinkTea · 22/01/2022 19:06

Never regretted it for a second

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moregarlic · 22/01/2022 19:07

Can you try and put some boundaries in place now?

Tbf I feel like all kids go through messy eating / chucking food phase however they learn to eat.

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DockOTheBay · 22/01/2022 19:08

Baby led weaning doesn't mean "no boundaries". I did it but still took the plate away if she stared throwing stuff.

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Isthatthebestyoucando · 22/01/2022 19:10

I think it's a common stage whatever way you wean. Don't blame your method.
I didn't do baby led, I'm sure we had a messy stage.

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Guineapigssweak · 22/01/2022 19:11

Can you just spoon feed your little one? The traditional way is far better, child eats a good amount of food, no mess, no waste. Plenty of time for them to feed themselves.

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pastypirate · 22/01/2022 19:19

BLw both mine. Couldn't be arsed mushing anything. If you want to eat out during the messy stage go to Pizza Hut they are v forgiving.

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MissyB1 · 22/01/2022 19:21

I will say as an Early Years practitioner we tend to see more food issues amongst the so called “baby led weaned” children than the traditionally weaned ones. That’s obviously a generalisation but it’s what we observe in our setting.

I would start again with proper meals (whatever you are having). Spoon feed if it’s needed and don’t allow food throwing.

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AliasGrape · 22/01/2022 19:24

Not at all, although I suspect I didn’t do what the purists would call BLW - mostly finger food but I wasn’t militant about it.

My DD eats pretty well, I mean she’s a toddler at the end of the day so she does have her moments, but nothing like you describe. And I don’t think BLW says anything about letting them try to climb out of their high chair or throw food on the floor does it? I can sort of see what you mean about the fact your son has had autonomy has made him think he can act like that but I do think babies would really make that connection. You can still set really clear expectations/ boundaries around mealtimes and behaviour without feeding them mush.

I don’t know if you follow anyone like solid starts, SR Nutrition or Big Little Feelings on Instagram but they all have some good ideas about what to do about food throwing, not eating much, trying to climb out of chair etc.

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PurBal · 22/01/2022 19:28

I can’t stand the food waste with BLW so doing a mix. Norland nanny friend always does purée as you know what baby has eaten. She’s the pro, so I’m going with her as opposed to HV who have knowledge but not practical experience. My niece who was BLW wastes so much food it’s unreal and at nearly 2 can’t use a fork.

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JanuaryPinks · 22/01/2022 19:32

I don’t think you can really blame blw for this. I have 2 kids, baby led weaning for both. They both eat absolutely loads in terms of quantity and variety of food. One of them was always very neat and tidy and the other a real messer. It’s down to personality not how they were weaned. The messy one is my youngest and as soon as she starts throwing food I take it away. Neither has ever tried to climb out of their Highchair but their purée weaned cousin is a total escape artist - that’s what the straps are for!

You just need to put some gentle boundaries in place.

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JanuaryPinks · 22/01/2022 19:33

PS I never had food waste with either of mine because they ate it all! You can’t really generalise about any of these “methods” - children are all individuals.

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mynameiscalypso · 22/01/2022 19:34

I don't think it's a BLW thing particularly. Just the age and a toddler being a toddler!

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Hugasauras · 22/01/2022 19:35

It's just a phase and does stop. We did purées and finger food with DD and she still caused an unholy mess as a toddler until it just stopped 🤷‍♀️ It's totally normal, albeit irritating. A dog helps a lot Grin

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Dmsandfloatydress · 22/01/2022 19:35

Tried it for a week. Couldn't afford the waste ( £2 organic avocado on the floor). Then I just squeezed Ella's kitchen into his mouth four times a day until he could manage a spoon. Kid now eats everything and he slept through the night sooner due to a full tummy. God knows why I even contemplated BLW in the first place!! The choking risk was scary enough and I'd rather mash and get enough sleep!

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ChipsAreLife · 22/01/2022 19:37

I've had three. First two I spooned fed as couldn't face the faff off BLW. However my DS refused to be feed and wanted to do himself so we've ended up doing BLW. I feel you... the bloody mess. Relentless and some days just barely eating.

BUT he's 16 months now and we've introduced a fork and spoon and he's really good with them. He's also good with his hands so far less mess. I would try hang in there as it does get better. But you can always do a bit of both!

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Policyschmolicy · 22/01/2022 19:38

No way. My purée weaned child is much more fussy with food than mg BLW child who has had pure enjoyment of food since day one. Tbh there wasn’t much difference between them when it came to the messy food throwing stage; it’s developmentally normal and part of them learning consequences.

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Spellfish · 22/01/2022 19:41

Over 10 years in, and no, I don’t regret BLW (and I was purist about it, no spoon feeding at all). They learned to be tidy and they’re both good eaters now, no bother travelling with them as there is always something they will eat, and they’re good about stopping when they’re full. It’s just a sample of 2, though.

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blyn72 · 22/01/2022 19:43

Don't babies always make a mess at meal times?

I can remember sitting in my high chair, playing with my food.

My son loved eating and most of it went in his mouth but he still made a mess.

I don't know whether I did 'baby led weaning' or not but I started him on a little solid food at the recommended time and he loved it so I suppose I did in a way, we just didn't label things.

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Nomoreusernames1244 · 22/01/2022 19:44

I will say as an Early Years practitioner we tend to see more food issues amongst the so called “baby led weaned” children than the traditionally weaned ones. That’s obviously a generalisation but it’s what we observe in our setting

What do you mean by “food issues”?

My observation is that spooning food into a baby’s mouth teaches them to accept it, and they learn there’s no point objecting, as it carries on being spoon fed regardless. Much the same way as being taught to finish plates can lead to hunger/full cues being over ridden, and not learning when to stop.

Baby led weaning gives a child the ability to stop when they’re full, or choose not to eat something they don’t like.

Now as adults we perceive the babies who eat what we want them to eat as “good”, while the ones who refuse have “issues”.

Personally I wanted my children to have control over what they eat, to be able to say no, stop when full, and choose what they wanted from what was offered. I don’t have this, and guess what, I’m obese because I just keep eating til the food is gone.

Extrapolation and anecdata, I know, but food is such a huge issue for me, and BLW made sense to me. Neither of my kids have “issues”, but they have learned to eat to appetite so I consider it a success.

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AliceW89 · 22/01/2022 20:00

20 month old DS fed himself aubergine gnocchi tonight using a fork with minimal mess. God knows if I did Baby Led Weaning by the book, but I certainly didn’t do purées because the little devil he point blank refused to be spoon fed. It was stressful for the first few months but it’s been plain sailing since then. He’s one of the best eaters in my antenatal group. I think that’s mostly due to luck and his temperament though - like all things in parenting, our choices only take us so far.

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Theworldisquiethere · 22/01/2022 20:05

My first was fed mostly purées and has loads of food issues now, my second was fed whatever we were eating and now eats anything and everything.

Could be coincidence though, they’ve got very different personalities anyway.

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sqirrelfriends · 22/01/2022 20:12

I think it depends on the child. DS never made much mess, he would mash things on his tray but never threw stuff or got it everywhere. My friends DS put food in his hair, his ears, up his nose and all over the floor.

I think there are real benefits but if it isn't working for you then spoon feed and add in finger foods that aren't too messy.

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HardbackWriter · 22/01/2022 20:14

My first utterly refused to be spoon fed and so we had no other option but baby led weaning. But it worked out so well that we've mostly done the same thing with his little brother so no, no regrets.

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MrsAvocet · 22/01/2022 20:31

The only one of my children who really made a mess with food was my eldest who I attempted to wean on purees. She didnt want it so would hit the spoon away or, if I got any into her mouth at all, spit it back at me. I had far more waste then as well as I'd spend hours steaming and pureeing stuff only to have it quite literally thrown back in my face.
By contrast I found giving bits of what I was cooking anyway to be easy and cost effective.
As others have said, doing BLW doesn't prevent you from putting in boundaries around mealtimes.I think the mess has a lot more to do with the individual child and their personality than what method of weaning is used to be honest, but however you wean, it's ok to address behaviour at mealtimes.

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